Tag Archives | homeless


Volunteer Profile: Bob

Bob volunteers with our outreach team and, having been a rough sleeper himself, he’s an invaluable asset. He suffered from depression, which had lead to spiralling debt and ultimately him facing life on the streets but he now lives independently in his own flat after spending time as a companion at Lockwood Street. Working with the team, Bob works across Hull and the East Riding, identifying rough sleepers to offer them support and sign post them to further services that they may require. “Since I’ve been here, I’ve undertaken extensive training including maths, English, mental health and safeguarding, amongst many others. “I’ve also worked with the outreach team, which supports those who are currently sleeping rough. Mental health is rife in the homeless community and there’s still a lot of education required in this area. “If I had stayed on the streets I’d be dead now. Emmaus have helped me feel worth something again when it felt like no one else wanted to listen. “My depression is something that will always remain with me but I now have it under control, when it could have been so different.”

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Volunteer Profile: Zoe

Zoe lives in Hull and volunteers at the Lockwood Street premises. Our director, Kelly Finnis told her about the opportunity to volunteer and Zoe was quick to take her up on the offer. Whilst living in a hostel, Zoe had volunteered for the charity and, after moving out and finding her feet again, she wanted to give something back. She occupies a diverse role at Emmaus helping out across day-to-day operations wherever she can. Talking about her experience, Zoe said: “I love helping people and generally lending a hand to the community. “I’m proud of all the work I do, but helping a veteran secure a bed from our superstore, ready for when he got out of hospital was particularly pleasing. “Having volunteered here for a while my eyes have really been opened and I get a lot out of it.”

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Volunteer Profile: Brittany

Brittany is 19 years old and from Hull. She found out about Emmaus through a family member and, along with her mum, decided to volunteer at the charity. The experience is helping to build her confidence whilst she is able to support the companions. Her role spans across the charity and she works in the outreach, community and retail departments. Talking about her time volunteering at Emmaus she said: “I get a satisfaction from helping people and I gain confidence in myself. “I take pride in everything I complete and particularly helping others out. “I think that other people should get involved because it opens a lot more opportunities and you get to help others as well as yourself.”

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Volunteer Profile: James

As a companion at Emmaus Hull and East Riding, James also volunteers his time to help operations in the warehouse. Following a difficult breakup with his former partner, James found himself looking for alternative accommodation. Unable to live with his family, as they were in council properties, keeping a roof over his head was looking unlikely. Pressure from his previous relationship was also taking its toll and he decided that he needed to take a break from the demands of every day life. Spending most of his time in the countryside and only venturing in to the city to do odd jobs to earn small amounts of cash, it was a lung infection that he contracted during bad weather that drove James to the doctors. After noticing numerous mosquito bites covering James’s body, his GP suspected that he might be sleeping rough and referred him to Emmaus. From the moment he arrived, James says he was made to feel welcome and received support. James said: “You need to be able to pick yourself back up and be committed to the program on offer here. “I now volunteer in the logistics department of the warehouse and I’ve undertaken lots of training […]

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National Volunteers Week

Volunteer Profile: Alison Whitfield

Alison is originally from Aberdeen and now lives off Princes Avenue in Hull. As a mobile foot health practitioner, she offers companions free foot care, such as nail cutting, removing corns and calluses and offering advice and tips with common conditions (e.g. fungal nail, athlete’s foot, verrucas and ingrowing toe nails). After seeing an article about the Orchard, she looked into what we do as she was interested in volunteering. Alison enjoys giving companions something that makes them more comfortable (many work hard on their feet!) and it has helped her develop skills as a practitioner. Many of her weekday customers have ‘easy’ feet and seeing companions with more challenging feet allowed me to develop. Her proudest moment was persuading a companion who was in a high degree of pain to visit a walk in clinic and then A&E. She had suspected a fracture and he was very reluctant to be involved with medical intervention (he presented as quite down in himself and she was worried that enduring physical pain wouldn’t help him). Where Alison’s unable to offer hands on support, she always offers advice and signposts companions to relevant services. Talking about her time at Emmaus, Alison said: “I […]

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Companion Profile: Neil

Neil first came to Emmaus, Hull & East Riding on 17th July 2017. He had been in a few Emmaus branches over the previous 4 years. It was our outreach programme that initially attracted Neil. He came from Dover for a week’s taster on outreach and decided to stay. He had a little spell away from Hull and went to Burnley, but decided he wanted to be back in East Yorkshire. Neil has recently completed his NVQ in warehouse & customer service, mental health and first aid as well as a lot of CLLD training. Additionally, he also completed a 4 week placement at Elliot Hygiene. Neil has done a lot of solidarity support in his time at Emmaus and is hoping to continue this within Emmaus once he has left. He’s also covered a wide range of roles whilst living in Hull, from kitchen duties to supporting at car boot sales. Neil says he owes Emmaus a lot and feels that the charity saved his life. He is moving onto the next chapter of his life at Trippet Street Supported Housing but will remain a big part of the community here in Hull. He will be greatly missed!

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Former Rough Sleeper Daryl

Companion Profile: Daryl

On the 18th February, companion Daryl moved on from Emmaus Hull & East Riding into his supported flat. Daryl has settled in really well and has been continuing to use the qualifications he gained whilst at Emmaus. He has also attended a couple of job interviews and is looking for a job as a breakfast chef. He has been attending Men in Sheds, which he has found very helpful, and has continued to volunteer at Emmaus Hull & East Riding to visit us all on a weekly basis. During Daryl’s time at Emmaus he completed his Level 2 and Level 3 Food Hygiene as well as getting NVQ qualifications in customer care, warehousing and bike mechanics. He also attended the pioneer trip funded through Emmaus UK, which was Daryl’s highlight of his stay and would love to look at doing something like this again. Daryl made some close friends whilst at Emmaus who he maintains contact with and is so thankful to Emmaus for giving him his self-esteem, confidence and work ethic back. We want to wish Daryl the very best of luck in his move and with his journey in to employment. Good luck Daryl!

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National Assembly

National Assembly Experience

Abdul’s Assembly Experience I learnt that the opportunities around other Emmaus are all different and have different ideas. My retail workshop was interesting as I learnt how to set up a retail shop and also find out what the customers want to see within it. I also learnt how to maximize the space and use this effectively I’m proud to have been given the opportunity to attend the assembly and what it had to offer.  I also felt meeting other team leaders and companions was very informative as it gave a great insight of how other Emmaus are run. I would recommend Emmaus because it gives people a fresh start and doesn’t judge your past. It opens doors to you, which in the past may have been closed.  I’m humbled to be part of the Emmaus community. Hayley’s Assembly Experience I learnt that being part of a bigger team enables me to look at the bigger picture when It comes to Emmaus and the opportunities that it has to offers. I did a workshop that helped me to gain information for when I eventually decide to move on. It also helped me to gain skills around budgeting and being independent. I’m proud of being part of Emmaus and how […]

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Hull is Where the Heart is

Hull has hit national headlines over the past couple of weeks but, rather dismally, not for the right reasons. We have all read about, or seen first-hand, the disturbing footage showing a man diving feet first on to a tent down Whitefriargate in Hull where two rough sleepers had bedded down for the night. The attack was entirely unprovoked and can only be summed up as a hideously vicious assault against two un-expecting individuals that were already vulnerable. Although the men inside the tent only suffered minor physical injuries, the mental impact was far greater and the potential for serious physical harm was there. The scene triggered outrage on a national scale and featured on both ITV and Channel 4’s evening news bulletins. The assault truly trampled over the values that Hull strives to uphold towards its homeless community. As a charity we work hard to protect homeless individuals and get them back on their feet and reintegrated into society. Such blinding antisocial behaviour stands as a startling contrast to the objectives of the charity. The fact remains that Hull-at-large has a very positive attitude to the homeless community and dealing with the associated issues. As a charity on the […]

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